Thursday, August 28, 2014

HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT YOUR CANDLES, TOO!

Who doesn't want to have a totally edible cake, complete with edible candles? I do!! That's why I was thrilled to hear about these scrumptious candles that Lorree Sandler has created! Thanks to my friend and mystery author Sharon Fiffer for the tip! Love when my mystery and chocolate worlds collide!

LOREE SANDLER:
HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT YOUR CANDLES, TOO! 
A Short Story About a Long Journey:
Bringing Let Them Eat Candles to Life

Making a wish and blowing out a candle seals the birthday deal. Even in a crowd, we get a teeny tiny spotlight, and the rest of the world disappears while we hold our breath, close our eyes, dream.

Of course, a killer dessert is a must as well. Maybe a cake covered in roses for grabby little hands, or a single cookie to be broken into bits by friends who are all on diets.

No matter the celebration, these elements are non-negotiable:

1. A candle

2. A sweet

With Let Them Eat Candles, the putrid wax middleman has been eliminated. So 21st century – save a step, cut to the chase. Slender sticks of premium chocolate, affixed with a wick, offer an additional treat for grabby little hands, or an elegant escape from the cookie conundrum.

Edible candles – so obvious, right? Why haven’t we seen them before? 

I can offer only my own experience, a journey of 2 1/2 + years from idea to market.

Loving chocolate is a far cry from working with it. At The French Pastry School and the Chocolate Academy (both in Chicago) I learned about tempering, moulding, packaging. I was introduced to enrobing machines, raplettes, guitars for cutting ganache. I learned about cocoa butter finishes, mouth feel, transfer sheets.

Without existing chocolate candle moulds on the market, I had to design mine and get them built. My finished product couldn’t be shoved into simple boxes like their waxy cousins, they needed to be separated and seen – custom packaging. There was patent research, filing a patent application. I needed food safety certification, rentable commercial kitchen space (where ovens weren’t a-blazing). I needed graphics, a website, supplies.

There was a lot of experimentation, tiny victories, major setbacks. There were chocolate varieties to be tasted and tested, trade shows to attend, contracts to sign.

“You should go on Shark Tank,” I hear again and again.

“Your candles should be taller, they should be numbers, they should be sold in boxes of 6.”

“They should be sparkly, they should be brighter colors, why don’t you sell them online?”

I’d love to, I know, I will!

Believing in chocolate candles, and in my ability to bring them to life, has been a lot of blind faith, some lucky breaks, and more than a few crying spells. Even though thousands of these beautiful babies will have to be sold before I begin to recoup my investment, I do believe I’m onto something.

Let Them Eat Candles belong in a bakery (or a restaurant, or a big box) near you! Visit www.marthastewart.com/americanmade and look for Let Them Eat Candles in the Sweets & Baked Goods subcategory of the FOOD section. If you vote between September 15 and October 13th, then at my (BIG) birthday, on October 15th, I could wish for more moulds, a dedicated production facility, and more hands on deck, and I might have a prayer of it coming true! Wouldn’t you like to wish on premium chocolate candles at your next celebration?

Thank you, Janet Rudolph, for giving me space to share my story. And thank you, Dying for Chocolate readers, for your desire for the delicious.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CHUNKY MONKEY ICE CREAM BREAD


Today is National Banana Lovers' Day. My grandmother never ate a banana in her entire life. She was from Eastern Europe and never saw a banana until she set foot on American soil. She didn't like the looks or smell, so she never even tried one! That's pretty odd, especially since I love bananas. I like bananas in cereal, in breads and cakes, in ice cream sundaes--just about anywhere. So in celebration of the day, here's a fun two ingredient recipe for Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Bread!

Not familiar with ice cream bread? It's so easy and delicious. The ice cream replaces the fat and sugar. Only two steps and two ingredients. Be sure to use self-rising flour. Just add softened ice cream and bake!

You can use different flavors of ice cream, just be sure not to use sugar free or low fat. Go for the full fat ice cream. It's more flavorful, anyway! I've made this awesome loaf with Chocolate Ice Cream, Rocky Road, as well as Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, but for today's Banana Lovers' Day holiday, I'm making it with Chunky Monkey. You can always use plain banana ice cream or chocolate ice cream recipe, too, and add extra bits. Chunky Monkey already has extra bits in it, but you can always add more. No need, if you're in a hurray! Experiment and have fun with this recipe!
 

CHUNKY MONKEY ICE CREAM BREAD
Makes a large loaf or two smaller loafs


Ingredients

2 pints Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey, softened or melted
3 cups self-rising flour
1 very ripe banana, chopped
1 dark chocolate bar, chopped
Walnuts, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour large bread pan or two small bread pans, or line with parchment paper. 
Mix melted ice cream and flour until very well combined. 
Fold in chopped chocolate, banana and nuts. 
Pour into prepared bread pan. 
Bake 45 minutes per loaf or 60-90 minutes for big double loaf. If top starts to brown too much, cover it with aluminum foil and continue to bake. 

Photo: Junkfood Cinema

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quick-As-A-Wink Black Magic Icing

I just love these Retro ads. This frosting is still great and easy to make..so try it Quick as a Wink!


Quick-As-A-Wink Black Magic Icing

Melt 1 pkg Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips over hot water.
Add alternatiely 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar and 1/2 cup evaporated milk.
Beat after each addition until smooth.
YIELD: Ices tops of two 8" layers.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Waffles with Chocolate Maple Syrup

Today is National Waffle Day. O.K. if you're following my food holidays, you'll know that there are actually two Waffle holidays, but since today is Sunday, I'm making waffles today to celebrate. My waffle maker doesn't come out as often as it should, but when it does, I wonder why I don't make waffles more often. It's so easy to clean up with the new waffle makers.

So for today's Waffle Holiday, I'm making Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Waffles with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 

BUTTERMILK CHOCOLATE CHIP WAFFLES

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
4 Tbsp sweet butter, melted
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Chocolate Maple Syrup (see recipe below)

Directions
Preheat waffle maker.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
In smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and butter until well combined.
Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, fold in chocolate chips and stir with wooden spoon until just combined.
Grease waffle maker and pour batter into preheated prepared waffle iron.
Cook until steaming stops and waffles are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes (time depends on waffle maker).
Top with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 

CHOCOLATE MAPLE SYRUP

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
4 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/4 cup sweet butter, chopped
Pinch of salt

Directions
Heat maple syrup in small sturdy saucepan over moderate heat until hot.
Whisk in cocoa powder, butter, and pinch of salt. Turn down to simmer and whisk for a minute.
Serve syrup warm.
Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week